Are you familiar with the infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper? He terrorized London in 1888.
He was responsible for mutilating five women. American crime novelist Patricia Cornwall has spent millions of dollars trying to prove that British painter Walter Sickert was a painter who knew how to push the limits.
He focused on lower class and suburban Victorian scenes, including scenes that suggested violence. He also had interest in Jack the Ripper.
He was known to have put Jack the Ripper’s persona into his paintings. In fact, he had a painting called ‘Jack the Ripper’s Bedroom’.
According to John Parker, that painting “along with ‘The Camden Town Murder’ may reflect some connection between the artist and the grisly Whitechapel butcher—either as an accomplice or the murderer himself!”
One reason behind Cornwell’s belief is that a man named Joseph Sickert came forward claiming to be the late Walter Sickert’s son. According to the younger Sickert, his father confessed his part in the killings shortly before his death.
Cornwell spent a fortune trying to prove her conspiracy. She bought many pieces of Sickert’s art and destroyed them looking for clues.
In addition to his art, she also owned his desk and some personal letters he’d written. She has spent part of her money on analyzing the DNA of the letters.
Her claims are that the DNA supports Sickert being Jack the Ripper.
Another author, Stephen Knight, has a similar conspiracy theory. Rather than Walter Sickert being Jack the Ripper, he claimed Sickert was an accomplice and, in fact, had been forced to aid in the killings.
Whether you believe Cornwell’s claims or not, the accusations and conspiracies make for an interesting topic. One thing we can certainly agree with is that Walter Sickert had a twisted yet captivating way of creating art.
The possibility of him bringing Jack the Ripper just creates more emotion when looking at his art. Sure, these claims could be true but it’s also just as likely that Sickert used current events as inspiration for his art.
Either way, he is definitely one of the most famous, or infamous, artists of the Victorian Era.
Here at Her Blaze we aren’t sure whether Sickert was living a double life like Hannah Montana or not. We are just appreciative of his art, as we are with all artists.
All we know is as Ernest Hemingway said, ”Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”